READ: Numbers 20-21
THINK: When you're in a group, do you tend to be the center of attention, or do you usually blend in with the rest? Do you seek attention, or do you prefer to go unnoticed? Perhaps you're somewhere in-between. But when people do notice you, what do they see? In other words, what do people think of when they listen to or look at you? Are you more likely to draw attention to yourself-or to Christ? Is your identity so wrapped up in your relationship with Jesus that people think of Him when they think of you? As a follower of Christ, you should seek to bring attention to Him in all you do. Even if a person doesn't know you or Jesus, do they see His love, joy and peace in you? Do your attitudes, words and actions reflect Christ's character and cause people to see something they need in their own lives?
RESPOND: Why do you think the people continued to complain and regret that they left Egypt after God had miraculously provided for them time and time again (20:1-5)? In light of Moses' intimate friendship with God and his faithful leadership over the people, why would a seemingly small action prevent him from leading the Israelites into the promised land? (See 20:12 note.) How could striking the rock have distracted people's attention from God and robbed Him of honor? (See 20:12 note, subpoint 1.) What does this situation indicate about the obedience and responsibility of godly leaders? (See 20:12 note, subpoints 2 & 3.) In the Old Testament, why did God at times totally destroy enemies of Israel? (See 21:3 note.) Why did God bring judgment on the Israelites in response to their complaining (21:4-9)? How did God then show mercy? In what way was the bronze snake symbolic? (See 21:9 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for specific blessings in your life. If you've complained about things, pray for the people and situations involved, asking God to strengthen your faith and patience. Pray that God will help you to live in a way that brings positive attention to Jesus. Pray for people you know who need spiritual salvation or physical healing.
ACT: Has God told you to do something that you've not yet obeyed? Are you doing anything your way instead of His? Have you failed to trust God in any aspect of life? Is there any way that your actions-even in ministry-draw attention to yourself rather than God? Has God given you an opportunity to which you haven't responded? If you answered "yes" to any of these, take the necessary action or make the necessary change to trust, honor and obey God.
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